Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Nightmare Fuel, Day the Seventh - Happy DeathDay!

This is another literal take on an image which could just as easily be metaphor. 

It is true: we celebrate some things and not others.

"Happy Death Day!"

You're Invited!

When:        November 1, 2015, 10PM to 2AM
Where:       Spruceyard Cemetary
What:         DeathDay Party
Why:           We celebrate the beginning of the life's adventure, but never the end. Come join us for a deathday celebration! Games! Slides! Bouncy-castle! Drinks! Food! Good times!

RSVP by October 7th, 2015

NO BLACK ATTIRE PERMITTED! THIS is a Deathday celebration, not a funeral!!

We all have that one friend, don't we? Not just the manic crazy one, but the quiet-crazy. The one who seems normal to outsiders, but comes out with really odd thoughts. Like a DeathDay party at a cemetary, the day after Halloween. It's the kind of event that feels weird, uncomfortable, and wrong yet strangely compelling. The kind of event that you just know if you missed you'd be missing out on some great stories.

So, I go.

I dress casual in  khakis and a button-down shirt, mindful of the "no black" admonition, arrive a late to find the party in full swing. And "swing" is the operative word; the promised bouncy castle is nowhere to be seen, but some enterprising soul has relocated playground equipment, including a slide and a full-sized metal-frame swing set - to the graveyard, the slightly rusted metal sharing space with the old stones, their markings long faded by the winds of time. How he got permission for such a thing is beyond me but the crowd - mostly too young and mostly too drunk - is eating it up, playing and laughing like the children they were all too recently.

I am not young, but not yet old either. There are, God willing, still a few more years before me than behind me. I'll admit it; there is a physical joy in taking a turn on the swings, in the juxtaposition of playfulness and death. The host himself follows me up the slide, our, small talk given weight by the venue: "It's a nice party, but I'm confused. Is someone dying? Are celebrating a specific death-day, or just death itself?"

He leaned close to me as I sat atop the slide, gazing down a smooth metal tracki toward the grave-markers below. His whisper in my ear was breathy, smelling of alcohol. "We're all dying. Perhaps... yours."

A shove in the small of my back sends me down, the bumps, rivets, and seems in the cool metal jabbing and poking my body as I slide inexorably and quickly toward the humble graves below.

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